Eight determined locals are ready to kick-start their careers in the mining industry after completing a training and employment program.
Craig Freer, Liam Reid, Kristy Treloar, Cara Strangways, Grant Warren, Leticia Warren, Elouise Gepp and William Warren graduated from the eight-week program on Monday, May 14 at the Port Augusta TAFE SA Campus.
The program was conducted by the Kokatha Aboriginal Corporation, Australian Camp Services (ACS) and Aboriginal Access Centre (AAC) TAFE SA, preparing the students for work on the Carrapateena Mine site.
The graduates gained skills in hospitality and cleaning, while also learning about financial management, first aid, and work health and safety.
Some students were assisted in completing their 75 hours of driving, enabling them to gain their driver’s licence.
Kokatha Aboriginal Corporation Chairperson Chris Larkin said a shortage of skilled workers available at Carrapateena had been identified.
“Kokatha are the traditional owners of this country. We believe it is important that we work closely with Oz Minerals so that our community can benefit from employment and business opportunities,” Mr Larkin said.
“This training program is just one area where a need was identified and we recognised this was an opportunity for Kokatha people.”
Meanwhile, AAC TAFE SA Director Marg Mibus praised the graduates for their 100 per cent attendance record.
“Students must attend every day and they do,” she said.
“We know that there are obstacles that prevent Aboriginal workers remaining in employment, we’ve built a program that helps them overcome those obstacles.”
This was the second round of the course, with four graduates from the first round in late 2017 currently employed at Carrapateena.
Kokatha, ACS and AAC TAFE SA plan to commence a third round of the course later this year.
Graduate Liam Reid said he enjoyed the program and encouraged more locals to give it a go.
“There’s nothing wrong with trying it out. The best thing is that you get a job at the end of it,” he said.